As you explore the world of healthcare administration and your future professional options, you’ll have many options to choose from. You’ll find that the skills you earn during college, earning your bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration, will provide you with multiple avenues to pursue. With a bachelor’s in healthcare administration, you could work in many different facilities, such as clinics, hospitals, or health insurance companies, along with different types of duties and various levels of pay and professional fulfillment, such as hospital administrator, health consultant, or marketing & communications manager.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, professionals in the healthcare industry are in high demand. The BLS projects continued job growth of 32% over the next decade.
What Is Healthcare Administration?
Healthcare administration is where industry professionals can make meaningful changes and help steer the direction of the healthcare field for Americans now and in the future. Regardless of the profession you choose, your work can help improve the lives of the community you serve, as well as patients and workers in healthcare facilities.
It blends public health and business principles to ensure that healthcare facilities run as a business designed to serve the public good.
Healthcare Administration Offers a Variety of Career Options in Healthcare Services
Healthcare administration remains one of the fastest-growing industries today. Healthcare organizations face increasing challenges in a world where shortages of all kinds of health professionals are rampant due to multiple factors.
These openings offer you the best opportunities to leap into a fast-growing industry, featuring a broad range of positions likely to suit you, your studies, and your goals.
Whether you are on your way to earning your bachelor’s degree, just graduated, or are looking for new ways to use your degree, you have several options.
Here are eight careers that let you do what you love in the healthcare administration field:
1. Nursing Home Administrator
Nursing home administrators perform duties that maintain the organizational and business aspects of long-term care or nursing facilities. However, their work also allows these professionals to become involved in patient care at the personal level, ensuring residents always receive the best possible care. Core responsibilities of a nursing home administrator can include:
- Managing healthcare staff performance
- Overseeing daily operations to ensure quality care, adherence to long-term goals, and organizational mission
- Staying updated on local, state, and federal regulations to ensure compliance
- Providing leadership to all areas, including managerial, clinical, and custodial teams
- Creating and maintaining facility budget
- Scheduling regular health and safety training sessions
- Serving as the ‘face’ of the facility to residents, stakeholders, and the public
2. Healthcare Consultant
Healthcare consultants often work as part of an independent consulting firm focused on studying publicly funded healthcare and human service issues emphasizing policy, programs, financing, and evaluation. Professionals in this career apply analytical skills and technical capabilities to help a broad range of clients work successfully in the healthcare space.
Working with medical-related organizations, like the World Health Organization and Doctors Without Borders, healthcare consultants provide expert-level advice and knowledge on today’s most vital and challenging health topics. Primary duties of a healthcare consultant can include:
- Analyzing complex industry and organizational challenges
- Identifying areas of improvement for health-related organizations
- Working with organizational managers, C-Level staff, and other leadership
- Conducting research and producing industry-specific reports and white papers
3. Hospital Administrator
A hospital administrator serves a vital role to keep a hospital running efficiently. They manage the organizational aspects of health services in a facility independently or as part of a team. Some crucial duties of a hospital administrator can include:
- Ensuring the medical facility adopts and maintains effective practices to deliver the best possible care
- Providing the same care to the hospital that a doctor provides to a patient
- Fostering partnerships with health workers at all levels, C-Level leaders, shareholders, the community, and patients
- Conveying ideas clearly to the media, board, employees, and patients
4. Health Insurance Manager
Healthcare organizations consider professionals with in-depth knowledge of the healthcare industry invaluable assets. Patients often struggle to understand the complexities of today’s health insurance — health insurance managers help alleviate the stress caused by health insurance worries to let them recover. Health insurance managers help with duties such as claims coding, patient billing, and developing benefit plans.
5. Practice Manager
Small private healthcare and medical practices need talented practice managers to keep operations running smoothly. Practice managers run a private healthcare practice office and must exhibit exceptional interpersonal and organizational skills. They conduct tasks related to staff management, patient relations, insurance and billing, and regulatory compliance.
6. Training and Development Director
Healthcare organizations often hire a training and development director to plan, coordinate, and direct programs to ensure health professionals maintain and upgrade their education. Training and development directors also coordinate training programs to enhance employee skills in order to ensure the staff offers the best patient care and effectively administer their duties. Hospitals and other health facilities can’t afford to have their staff let credentials lapse or become ineffective at key skills.
A training and development director reviews employee performance assessments and management and physician reports to determine staff training needs or promotion-related training. They also assist employees in finding training, whether in-house or at an outside facility.
7. Medical Coding Specialist
Medical coding specialists serve as translators of complex medical information. Medical coders review patient data to assign applicable diagnosis and procedure codes for patient care, billing purposes, and population health statistics and tracking. This highly detailed career path means professionals work with massive amounts of patient information and must work within a structured system to keep it all organized and ready to enter into a shared system between local or regional healthcare organizations; hence, the need for a precise coding language. Professionals in this career can work in several types of health facilities, including:
- Hospitals and doctor’s offices
- Healthcare consulting services
- Insurance agencies
- Private medical practices
- Dental offices
- Rehabilitation facilities
- Nursing homes
8. Assisted Living Administrator
An assisted living administrator (ALA) supervises and manages the safe housing and healthcare services of senior citizens and other adults who need special care and assistance with daily tasks that can include eating, bathing, dressing, and taking medication. ALAs conduct several important functions in business and personal care capacities.
Starting Your Career in Healthcare Administration
As you can see, you have many options available to you when planning a career in healthcare administration. It’s a critical time in your life when you need to decide the path you want to take, but getting the right education can help you determine the right path naturally as you learn and grow in your field-specific studies and program.
ABOUT JOHNSON & WALES UNIVERSITY
Johnson & Wales University offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs in more than 50 fields of study. Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales has a current enrollment of around 8,000 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students. The university is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. Financial aid is available for qualified students.